Friday, October 7, 2011

Everything Leaks

As you can tell by the expression on Vlad's face, engine maintenance is somewhat cramped, unpleasant and dirty, especially if you're working on a boat and more than 4 feet tall. I was helping him fix a leaky oil pan, and my main task was to hand him various wrenches, sockets and gaskets while he was wedged in sideways behind the engine. I guess that makes me a grease gopher rather than a grease monkey. But, hey, I still have oil under my fingernails! And I kindda dropped the gasket sealer into the oil pan, so perhaps I'm not ready for the big time yet.
Speaking of leaky oil pans, did you know that everything on a boat leaks? It's pretty counterintuitive, since the main point of a boat is to keep liquid out. But on most boats, there's something leaking - leaky portlights, leaky hatches, leaky decks, leaky engines. Everything leaks.

When we first started talking about this crazy adventure, I read Maiden Voyage by Tania Aebi, which is about Aebi sailing solo around the world at 18 years old. It was a good read, but I was shocked that her brand new boat leaked like nobody's business. Then, I realized that most boats leak, and that part of basic boat maintenance is fixing all the leaks that either develop or come that way from the manufacturer. I don't know about you, but if I paid a giant ton of money for a brand new boat that came with a brand new leaky hull-to-deck joint, I might be just ever so slightly upset.

Thankfully, Bettie is a dream in the leak department. She has one through bolt that gives us a few drips, but other than that nada.

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